Five takeaways from the Seattle Seahawks Week Two loss to the Green Bay Packers

Jimmy Graham, mental mistakes and big plays for the Seahawks that shouldn't be forgotten rank high among the storylines following Seattle's 27-17 loss Sunday night to the Green Bay Packers.

5. Seattle hoped to feature Jimmy Graham and instead forgot about him
The Seahawks traded for the All-Pro tight end precisely for big games like last night and Pete Carroll acknowledged as much Monday, explaining that Graham was the focal point of Seattle's pre-game strategy with four of the first five passing plays called designed to go to him.

Regardless of what Seattle intended, Graham was ultimately a non-factor in the game, catching just one pass for 11 yards. To be sure, his presence did have an impact as Doug Baldwin and Fred Jackson found themselves free on red zone plays in which Green Bay focused its coverage on Graham but Seattle didn't trade for Graham to simply use him as a decoy.

Graham will have a breakout performance for the Seahawks; as he really is too gifted not to at some point. For a risk adverse quarterback like Russell Wilson, however, it may be a case of easy-to-say, tough-to-do.   

4. The 2015 Seahawks aren't good enough to make this many mental mistakes and win...
Throughout much of the past two seasons, the Seahawks held such an advantage in personnel - both frontline starters and depth - that the club could absorb silly penalties and other mistakes and still win most games. At least for now, the margin for error is smaller on this team and the timing of some of Seattle's mistakes the past two games have been game-changers.

From Dion Bailey's infamous slip to the Steven Hauschka's aborted onside kick, the attention to detail was lacking in St. Louis and just as costly last night in Green Bay. Michael Bennett three off-sides penalties were inexcusable. Richard Sherman is typically the game's most dangerous corner but he too lacked discipline, uncharacteristically panicking with the ball in the air and rather clumsily running into rookie wideout Ty Montgomery to hand the Packers 52 yards on an easy pass interference penalty.   

3. "New" faces perform well in secondary
Marcus Burley and DeShawn Shead may not be the names most think of when discussing Seattle's vaunted Legion of Boom but each performed well last night, with Burley making several impressive open field tackles and Shead doing a nice job in coverage. Burley, in particular, stood out, enjoying the best game of his time in Seattle since the club traded a sixth round pick to Indianapolis during training camp last year. Shead started in place of Bailey (who, of course, started the season opener in place of Kam Chancellor) against the Packers but Carroll suggested Monday that the Seahawks may switch back to Bailey depending on the opponent. Shead, a former cornerback, is generally better in coverage. Bailey, a former linebacker, is the more aggressive and physical tackler.

2. Let's not lose sight of the highlights
Lost in the glare of Seattle's 0-2 record is the fact that there were some terrific plays turned in by Seahawks last night. K.J. Wright had an uglier end to the game than any Seahawks player but his forced fumble of James Starks was a terrific play. Bruce Irvin blew past and Bennett bulldozed through Packers left tackle David Bahktiari for impressive sacks. Steven Hauschka's 54-yard field goal to cut Green Bay's momentum after the Packers had seized an early 10-0 lead was about as clutch as a kick can get in the first half. And how about the resiliency the team showed in battling back in the third quarter, showing the same ability to make halftime adjustments that helped this team represent the NFC in the past two Super Bowls?

The simple truth is that the Seahawks have - by their standards - played two pretty lousy games on the road and still been in position to win.

1. The sky isn't falling... as long as the Bears do.
You can expect plenty of the fair weather fans to already start jumping ship after the Seahawks 0-2 start but few of them appreciate the difficulty of Seattle's first two road opponents. The Rams' defensive line was a colossal test in the season opener, as was the emotion (and brilliance of Aaron Rodgers) of Green Bay last night. These two games were arguably Seattle's toughest two game stretch of the year. Chicago won't have starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who is already being ruled out against the Seahawks with a hamstring injury. Further, the Bears are toothless on defense, surrendering an average of 40 points per game over the first two weeks - and those were games in Chicago.

The Seahawks should get back on track Sunday against the Bears with a very beatable Detroit Lions squad visiting CenturyLink next.


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